The Finnish National Team is inviting 18-year-old budding star Patrik Laine to play at the 2016 World Championship, reports Jouni Nieminen.
Laine is just one day removed from winning the Jari Kurri Trophy for the best player in the Finnish Elite League postseason. He lead the postseason with 10 goals and tied for third with 15 points.
Laine is a 2016 draft eligible prospect, expected to go second or third overall in June’s draft, though there are some that believe he can challenge Auston Matthews for the number one overall spot. Matthews will also be at the tournament, representing the U.S.
The 6-foot-4 Laine will get a chance to prove he’s able to compete with some of the NHL’s best when the 2016 World Championships kick off on May 6 in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia.
@TSNBobMcKenzie Just to clarify: Laine has been invited by coach, but final roster will be announced on sun or mon. No one on it just yet.
— Jouni Nieminen (@OnsideWithJouni) April 27, 2016
Additionally, the Star Tribune’s Michael Russo reports that the Finnish National Team has extended invites to Minnesota Wild forwards Mikko Koivu, Mikael Granlund and Erik Haula. Haula will not attend due to injury, but Koivu and Granlund are still deciding.
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.